U.S.S. Indianapolis National Memorial: Remembering Disaster at Sea

The U.S.S Indianapolis National Memorial is a monument in Indianapolis that pays tribute to the crew of the U.S.S Indianapolis, who perished in the worst disaster in United States naval history.

Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, a Japanese submarine in the Philippine Sea struck the U.S.S Indianapolis. Carrying 1,196 men, the ship sank in only 12 minutes. Approximately 300 men went down with the ship and 900 remained in the water, which was laden with sharks, for a period of five days. With no lifeboats and no food or water, most were lost to hypothermia, dehydration, and shark attacks. Just over 300 men miraculously survived.


The U.S.S Indianapolis National Memorial pays homage to those lost in the ship’s destruction and the days that followed. The memorial was funded, designed, and erected by The U.S.S Indianapolis Survivors Memorial Organization, Inc. and was dedicated on August 2, 1995. An outdoor site located at the north end of the Canal Walk at White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis,  the U.S.S Indianapolis National Memorial has the names of the ship’s final crew engraved on the south face and the story of that fateful event etched on the other.

A popular Indianapolis attraction, the U.S.S Indianapolis National Memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The memorial is one of only 26 memorials designated by Congress as a National Memorial, and is one of many memorials in Indianapolis that commemorate those fallen in battle, including the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument and the Veterans’ Memorial Plaza.

For more information on the U.S.S. Indianapolis National Memorial, please visit the memorial’s homepage.

U.S.S. Indianapolis National Memorial
Walnut St and Senate Ave Central Canal
Indianapolis, IN 46202